Saturday, November 20, 2010

Home prices expected to dip

Metro Phoenix home prices should hold steady this month but dip in December, according to the latest index from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.

The region's median home price is projected to be $120,000 for November and then slip to $117,000 next month based on the home sales under contract tracked by the ARMLS Pending Price Index. If the median price falls below $119,000 next month, it will be a new 10-year low for the Valley and signal a double dip in prices.

The index is forecasting that Phoenix's median will climb back to $120,000 in January but then drop to $105,000 in February. But the index is less accurate for months farther out. Many home sales that will close in February haven't yet been negotiated.

Foreclosure resales and short sales are pulling down metro Phoenix's housing values. In October, almost 65 percent of all the home sales in the area were foreclosures and short sales. But that number is down from September, when those distressed home sales made up a record 74 percent of all closings.

Growth think tank

Urban Land Arizona has a new executive director. Deb Sydenham has taken over for George Bosworth, a real-estate veteran who had led the group since 1996.

Sydenham was previously deputy director of P3 Initiatives at Arizona Department of Transportation. In that position, she was involved in building the state's program to use public-private partnerships to work on Arizona's transportation needs. Before that, she led community development and planning for the Arizona Department of Commerce.

Urban Land Arizona recently received a $25,000 grant to help support its Livable Phoenix project, which is working on promoting communities along the Metro light-rail system. Washington, D.C.-based Urban Land Institute awarded the grant to ULI Arizona.

Nominations for the group's Arizona Smart Growth Award and Smart Growth Legacy Award are being taken at until Dec. 13.

by Catherine Reagor The Arizona Republic Nov. 17, 2010 12:00 AM

Home prices expected to dip

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